Tennessee Volunteers (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date and Time: Saturday, September 13th, 2014. 8:00PM EST
Where: Memorial Stadium Norman, O.K.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ten +20.5/OU -20.5
Over/Under Total: 55
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Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners will have another chance this week to belittle the SEC’s supremacy complex when they host the Tennessee Volunteers in Norman this Saturday night. Stoops has been outspoken this week as usual about SEC supremacy and clearly set the tone on Monday by stating “We are not dominated by the SEC.” Of course Stoops and Oklahoma have some momentum behind that comment due to last year’s huge victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. This week the Sooners will have the opportunity to flex their muscles against the SEC yet again as huge 20.5 point favorites over the Volunteers.
Both Oklahoma and Tennessee enter this week’s matchup with an undefeated 2-0 SU mark on the season. Both schools have been impressive. Oklahoma’s high expectations to make a run at a National Championship appear deserving. In just two weeks, Tennessee has proven they should be able to compete this season and perhaps make a little noise in the SEC. The Volunteers blew out Utah State in their season opener and then handled business last week against a feisty Arkansas State team. Quarterback Justin Worley has the offense moving the football effectively. Worley has completed 65% of his passes through his first two games for 520 yards with 5 touchdowns and 1 pick. Still, the obvious argument is neither the Sooners nor the Volunteers have faced any type of true competition. For Tennessee that argument ends this week when they step outside of Knoxville and go on the road to meet the no. 4 team in the country as big underdogs.
Oklahoma returns home this week after going on the road last Saturday and routing Tulsa 52-7. The Sooners have been thoroughly impressive on both sides of the football. The Sooners currently rank in the top 15 in scoring offense and defense through the first two games of the year. Defensively, Oklahoma has appeared worthy of their National Championship expectations. The defense completely shut down a rather solid Tulsa offense last week and forced 4 turnovers during the game as well. Oklahoma’s defense has given up just 3 points in the first half this season. All other points allowed by the defense have been relinquished well after the outcome had been decided. It will be interesting to see if the defense can continue to play at a high level again this week as the competition and talent level picks up.
Offensively the Sooners have a ton of talent and are still trying to reach their optimum potential. Quarterback Trevor Knight has not played bad but has missed some opportunities down the field. Knight has completed 58% passing through his first two games for 3 touchdowns and 1 pick. The Sooners have a strong balanced offensive attack. The running back stable is talented led by Keith Ford and there are plenty of threats on the edges led by wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Last week Shepard caught 8 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the big victory over Tulsa. Shepard is another talent on the Oklahoma offense that has a lot of upside. The key will be the progression of sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight. Oklahoma’s offense is already a handful for opposing defenses but if Knight can play better then the offense could be nearly unstoppable.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This week’s game in Norman will be telling for both the Sooners and the Volunteers as we will be finally able to tell just how good each team is against good talent. While Oklahoma is a big favorite, I think the side is based off potential for this game to get out of hand more than reality that it will. Tennessee has to weather the storm early in the first half this week in their first big game in a hostile environment. If they can stay in the ball game in the first half, I think they will be able to stay in the game all 4 quarters. Take Tennessee +20.5!